November 12, 2021
Welcome to Brief Talk, Episode Five, proudly brought to you by Everyday Lingerie, Co. Today's episode is all about how Everyday Lingerie, Co. became an Australian-made underwear label.
It's a pretty amazing story, and I have to say one that was a really tough journey. I'm super excited to be sharing this with you. We've had so many questions in regards to our underwear, where it's made, the fabrics, all of that so we're going to definitely cover all that off today.
When we started out, finding a factory was probably one of the hardest, if not the most challenging, aspects of the business. For me, it wasn't just about finding a factory that would make bamboo underwear. It was also about one that was ethical and that treated its workers really well. I mean, how do we become a brand that is all about caring about people, loving the skin they're in, empowering our customers to wear our garment, but then having a factory that didn't do the same to their workers?
That process, to start with, took us around two years. It was all about having empowerment from the first person, all the way through to the end-user. We really wanted to ensure that that was not taken lightly by us. So it was around two years, and I can tell you now, we probably spoke to about 30 different factories in that time.
When starting out, my dream was to become Australian-made. Unfortunately, I didn't have the network or the resources to actually make that happen, and anyone who's gone down the path of looking for Australian manufacturers, there is a limited number, unfortunately. It is something that has been reducing over the years, as many people have chosen to go offshore. Especially with the introduction of fast fashion, more and more companies tend to move across because of the speed of which it can happen and the huge capabilities those factories have.
As always, I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with that. It's just a choice. For us, as I said, I didn't have the resources to actually start manufacturing here in Australia. I did try. We did some sampling and things like that, but, overall, it was really challenging. So we ended up working with a factory overseas who produced the first run of garments for us, and we were really excited. We knew the quality of fabric was great, the finish from all of our sampling were really cool, and then we launched in August 2019 with our first range.
Now, unfortunately, as the numbers dwindled in the stock levels and we got more stock, unfortunately, there was an issue with quality, quality I wasn't prepared to put with the brand and put our customers through there where potentially some fault issues. So we knew that when we saw that, that we actually had to stop selling. We did get to a point where we were sold out in March 2020 and, unfortunately, something called COVID hit at the same time. So with that happening, we had to kind of regroup and figure out how we would move forward.
So, on top of all of that, there's the situation of language barriers, the time it takes for sampling. Making a garment is no small feat. You create a pattern based upon what you want to make. You then have to test it out. So it starts with sampling pieces, you go back and forth, and then until you can grade out all of the pieces in all the size range that you're having available. Then from there, it can go into sampling phase again to make sure everything's right. For underwear, you're looking at the actual stretch on the waist, the relaxed fit on the waist, the leg openings, the height, even down to how big the fabric is in the gusset in the lower area, in particular for female underwear.
The other part of manufacturing overseas is that we saw the time it was taking. It could take 12, 14 weeks at a time. Plus we were adding environmental factors with it because it was being air freighted, all of these sorts of things. So that all came into play when we were looking at how we were going to move forward with the range.
Now, there was times definitely in this journey that I went, "Oh, no, should we just stop and give up and move forward?" But, unfortunately, I do like a challenge or I should say, fortunately, I do like a challenge. So I kept pursuing this path, and the biggest thing for me was in this time, as we were almost starting over again, we could actually stop, take on all the customer feedback around regarding the fits and actually address those and work through all those things to be able to move forward with phase two.
So we started talking to manufacturers overseas in different countries. We looked at local options. We were really exhausting every single avenue we had. The great news was the first thing I actually found was a company here in Melbourne who could manufacture the fabrics.
Now they've got a very long history in the fabric-making industry, they've been around for a number of years and, thankfully, I was blessed enough to get to meet the owner. From there, we had a conversation about the fabric that was happening, and I learnt very quickly there's a massive price difference in importing fabrics per meter versus having them made locally. With our fabric that we use, our bamboo, with all of its benefits, it is a bit more costly to manufacture, and especially when it's being manufactured especially for you. There's minimum orders, there's increased price per meter, all of those sorts of things and working into their runs.
So we decided to move forward and sample up garments now that we had the upgraded patterns and now we had an upgraded fabric, and we were able to get some garment pieces made. The minute that fabric was made into those samples and I got to wear them and test them, I worked out, went about my day, did all the things that I would normally do, and I was in love. The fabric, it felt amazing on the skin, it worked with my body, with pH levels so I got some more samples made. The great thing was in that time of getting these samples made, we've actually met another local manufacturer, one who could actually bring the finished garment together.
There was one piece missing for us, and that was the elastic waist trim. As you all know, we've got a chevron waist trim, and it's all about having some detail in it, feeling, as I said, dare a little bit sexy or stylish chic, whichever way you want to put it. But it's really about giving you that support and comfort at the top so it's a really integral part of the garment. So I went about, again, chatting to so many Australian elastic mills, overseas. I think we ended up with close to 40 samples of elastic coming in, and the problem was we found that, unfortunately, the capabilities in the machines that are available in Australia didn't actually allow us to manufacture here.
So we did the next best thing. We found an Australian-owned-and-run company whose factory overseas can actually produce that elastic for us custom-made again, and then import it into Australia. With all of that, obviously, when it all comes together, you've got, yes, it's an important piece of elastic, but it is from an Australian-owned-and-run company. It's an Australian-made fabric, it's an Australian-made garment. So bringing all that together, we were really excited to be able to then go, "Wow, we're now Australian-made."
What I started out at the start of my whole exercise or mission was really about getting an Australian-made garment so now we got to the point where we had that. It was the best scenario for all the areas of the garment and the completed garment, really exciting. We got certified as a full Australian-made and able to use the beautiful green triangle to advertise that as well and put that against our garments.
It then had other ramifications moving over to Australian-made. It meant that our cost was going to increase dramatically. I would've loved to have launched an Australian-made garment that had the same price point that we had before, but, unfortunately, that's not the case. Our labor costs are so much higher here in Australia. They're about three times the price. Our meterage of fabric is also three to four times the price of bringing in an imported fabric for our garments.
Some companies, yes, they're Australian-made, but all of their raw materials are actually still imported so it allows them to have a slightly cheaper price point. That's great, and it works for certain companies. But for me, I was really focused on end-to-end of the garment and every single facet of it really being that Australian-made finish.
So when it comes to the questions around pricing, we are a higher price point, and I do understand that that for some people, looking at a $35 to $45 piece for underwear is quite expensive when you're not talking lace and all of those things. But I really wanted to cover off where all of that comes into the garment and how it all comes out. We know at the end of the day that we are producing the best Australian-made garment from Australian-made materials where we can and super proud of that and so grateful for the support we have locally and abroad.
We do ship to the rest of the world and have customers currently in 12 different countries around the world, which is super exciting because so many countries love the fact that we are Australian-made as well and the support we've gotten here from our fellow Australians is absolutely phenomenal. So thank you so much for that and understanding, and even for the customers, who've reached out to ask us about pricing and those things that come into it. But I thought, hence, why we'll do a video on our Australian-made journey to really give you the path and why and how it all sort of came about to really get a good understanding.
The other amazing thing about doing it locally is that we actually reduce our footprint as well. I want to leave this planet better than I came into it so, for me, having less of a footprint with it all is fantastic. It means that we can do sampling quicker. Unfortunately, with the lockdowns currently, we have been delayed with the new crop and the anti-chafe shorts, but we will be able to start working through that all now with restrictions, obviously, easing in Victoria. So, yeah, we can't wait to share those with you, and I hope this really gets a clearer picture for everyone regarding Australian-made and why ELC has chosen to become Australian-made.
Thank you so much for the support and, hopefully, this gives you a greater understanding if you're thinking about whether or not to add it to cart. Hopefully, this is the choice that you make now is to add it to cart and support your fellow Australians as well. If you can, that would be amazing.
I'd also love to hear your feedback on our decision to be Australian-made. Is that journey clear to you now and what Australian-made means to you? Because it's very near and dear to my heart.
Thank you for your time today. I really appreciate you coming on this journey with me with Brief Talk and Episode Six next week we'll actually be talking about diet culture in the home. We'll do an initial episode. But we also have coming up in the few episodes down the track where we're chatting with some influencers and models and public profile people who want to share their journey and what that diet culture means to them, especially having children.
So thank you for joining me on Episode Five of Brief Talk and hope you have the most amazing day and can't wait to chat to you in Episode Six.
January 21, 2022
January 10, 2022
December 17, 2021
Trying to find the right underwear size can be difficult due to different companies making different sizes. To make things easier we have created a step by step guide to take the guess work out of the equation.
Below we have measuring instructions with images to assist you.
All you need to do is take a couple of simple measurements; your waist, your lower waist and your hips. The best way to do this is by using a soft measuring tape and a mirror to ensure you are accurate. If possible stand in front of a mirror when taking your measurements to ensure that the measuring tape is also parallel to the floor and is flat.
Your waist is the natural in indentation above your hips or just below your rib cage (see image). Wrap the soft measuring tape around firmly without pitching your skin together – write this measurement down.
Your lower waist is approx. 12cm down from your waist. Take your measuring tape and run this down from your waist to 12cm (see image). Wrap the soft measuring tape around this area firmly without pitching your skin together – write this measurement down.
Now wrap the soft measuring tape around the fullest part of your hips, this is approximately 25cm below your waist (see image). Use the mirror to check that your measuring tape is completely straight and parallel to the floor – write this measurement down.
All you need to do is take a couple of simple measurements; your Full Bust and your Lower or under bust. The best way to do this is by using a soft measuring tape and a mirror to ensure you are accurate.
Your Full Bust is the fullest part of your bust (see image). Ensure that the measuring tape is completely straight and parallel to the floor. Wrap the soft measuring tape around firmly without pitching your skin together – write this measurement down
The Lower or Under bust is measured by wrapping the measuring tape around your rib cage directly under your bust (see image). Wrap the soft measuring tape around firmly without pitching your skin together – write this measurement down
|Full Bust Measurements (cm)||81-87||87-93||93-99||99-105||106-114||115-123||124-130||131-137|
|Lower or Under Bust Measurement (cm)||61-67||67-73||73-79||80-86||87-39||94-100||100-106||107-113|
|Waist Measurement (cm)||75||80||85||90||95||100||110||115|
|Lower Waist Measurement (cm)||90||95||100||105||110||115||120||125|
|Hip Measurement (cm)||95||100||105||110||115||120||125||130|
|USA||4 to 6||6 to 8||8 to 10||10 to 12||12 to 14||14 to 16||16 to 18||18 to 20|
|UK||6 to 8||8 to 10||10 to 12||12 to 14||14 to 16||16 to 18||18 to 20||20 to 22|
|EUROPE||34 to 36||36 to 38||38 to 40||40 to 42||42 to 44||44 to 46||46 to 48||48 to 50|
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